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Long Drive on the Long Weekend

Ahhhh... I love long weekends, don't you?

Yesterday was interesting. We drove up to Old Sydney Town, and spent an hour or two there, wandering around, watching the blacksmith and the NSW Corps recruitment (which was hilarious). Lunch there was also very nice; they do a great battered fish, and Vickie loved her ploughman's lunch.

Terrigal fell flat, though. We left Old Sydney Town earlier than we'd planned; we'd missed half of the shows and demonstrations by the time we got there (around midday) and weren't too interested in the rest at the time, so it wasn't long before we'd seen almost everything. We arrived in Terrigal at around three - and the amount of traffic just trying to get into the town was horrendous. Vickie would have liked to have gone shopping, but the only place we could park was over in the large car park on the head (near the famous fish & chip shop), and getting back into Terrigal proper would've meant a walk up and down the big hill. So, we stayed for ten minutes and got the heck out of town (and the inbound side was still thick with people trying to get in).

We stopped off on the way back at a place called the Fragrant Garden, in Erina. It wasn't quite as fragrant as we were hoping, but it was still a lovely little spot, a great place to stop, revive, survive for a while. They have this great shop which is in a yurt-style building (please correct me if I'm wrong; it's the closest term Vickie and I could think of). It has a huge cascade window; basically a waterfall on glass. The sound is very relaxing; quiet enough to be tranquil but loud enough so that you're not thinking you've left a tap running somewhere. Vickie bought herself some bottles of essence and this wonderful thing called a Therapillo, which is this silk beanbag filled with lavender that goes over your eyes when you're trying to relax. It feels nice and cool on your eyelids; I imagine it'd help put you out like a light if you need to sleep.

Needless to say, dinner out at Terrigal didn't happen. I think I just needed to consider the fact that it's a long weekend in the middle of the school holidays (oh yeah: NRL Grand Final Night, too) when I was planning yesterday. I also got nailed on the way home. Important Travel Tip: When travelling South on a Sunday, never use the F3 until you hit Mount Colah. Just use it to bypass Hornsby, because no matter how smoothly-flowing the traffic looks before the Hornsby Shire border, it will be banked up by the time you hit Berowra. The Pacific Highway might be a twisty, turny, upsy, downy road, but trust me, it's virtually traffic-free on Sunday afternoons and evenings.

After all that driving around, we didn't feel like heading out again; in fact, after we got home, Vickie turned to me and said, "Darling, I know it's my birthday dinner, but what I'd really like right now is for you to get us some takeaway of some sort and a couple of videos." (I love this woman.) So I pootled out to Thornleigh for three DVDs - Hardball, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and The Interview - then went to Pennant Hills for some Fish and Chips for Vickie and a cheese burger and chips for me. Meanwhile, Vickie got to watch a technical hitch test Billy Idol's cool and crowd-pleasing skills to the limit - in case you didn't watch last night, Billy Idol was going to do the musical warm-up for the Grand Final, except the pickups for the backing band's guitars refused to work, so he had to leave the stage after ten minutes. I don't mind Billy Idol, so that was definitely a poor effort by whoever was meant to organise the show - okay, sure, someone can screw up, that's understandable, especially with something that complex, but at an event like that, what really makes you look bad is when you can't fix the screw-up in short order. Very unprofessional.

But regardless, we watched Hardball and Lock, Stock last night. Hardball was your standard cynical-adult-coaches-down-and-out-kids'-team movie, set in the Projects. What elevated it above the crowd was its unusual setting, the kids themselves and a standout performance by Keanu Reeves; he made us believe that his character, Conor, was an absolute drop-kick loser at the beginning of the movie. He looked that bad, jitters and all.

I thought Vickie would like Lock, Stock, but I was a little worried that she wouldn't. I needn't have been; she got a good laugh out of it.

Vickie went to bed at about midnight last night... and I crawled in a couple of hours later after playing some more Halo. Have I told you it's fun yet? I have? Well I haven't told you it's great fun. So there.

Today, we'll pop into Hornsby to do some more shopping - for essentials, this time - and maybe have a fiddle with Neverwinter Nights. Not sure whether we'll make into Newtown - sorry, you Necro guys. I know I said we'd be there for a quick hello.

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